"Many top chefs have discovered some surprisingly tasty ways to keep the pounds at bay. [Their] tantalizing suggestions [are] put forth in Smart Chefs Stay Slim, a new book detailing the eating strategies of today’s culinary superstars." -- OPRAH.COM

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Entries in salad (3)


Last Gasp of Winter (I hope) Menu

Italian plum and port wine tart Really? Snow less than a week before Spring? Okay, one more warming soup, this one for company.

This is a great, pretty quick vegan soup from Mario Batali that first appeared in Food & Wine. To make the meal we put out slices of a crusty baguette, two cheeses (sottocenere and an asiago fresca), olives, apple slices and Italian dry salami, as well as an herby salad with a walnut oil and lemon dressing.  And an Italian plum tart with port wine for dessert.


Yes, burning a candle near your cutting board keeps the onions from making you cry! (h/t to America's Test Kitchen)MIXED VEGETABLE AND FARRO SOUP

  1. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  3. 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  4. 1 medium leek, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
  5. 1 cup farro or wheat berries
  6. 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  7. 2 quarts water
  8. One 15-ounce can borlotti or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  9. 2 large carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  10. 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
  11. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  12. 2 tablespoons thinly sliced basil
  1. In an enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Add the celery, onion and leek and cook over moderately high heat, stirring a few times, until softened, 5 minutes.
  2. Add the farro and tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the grains are coated and shiny, 30 seconds.
  3. Add 1 quart of the water and the beans and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.
  4. Add the carrots and the remaining 1 quart of water. Cover and cook over low heat until the carrots are tender, 30 minutes.
  5. Add the peas, cover and cook until tender, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, top with the basil and serve.

The tart had a basic pie crust dough (from Martha Stewart) pressed into the pan and the filling of plums, sugar and cinnamon was similar to the roasted fruit recipe in Smart Chefs (with the addition of corn starch to thicken), and a reduction of port wine with sugar and molasses.



Recipes that don't need a recipe: Confetti salad

It's hot here, and I've been buying vegetables and fruits like they are going out of style (which, I guess some of them are). Inevitably, there are a few odds and ends by Sunday night: One cob of corn, a quarter of a giant red onion, more apricots than we can consume before they turn to mush. So tonight: confetti salad, which doesn't follow a strict recipe. Quinoa confetti salad, recipe by Allison Adato

Start with a base of a cooked, cooled grain or cous cous. I used quinoa, which cooks in just 15 minutes and is a good source of protein. But you could use bulgar wheat or barley or wild rice or even cold leftover rice from a take-out dinner.  Here's what went in to my most recent version, but feel free to vary at will with different raw vegetables, fruits, nuts and herbs.


serves 4

2 cups cooked, cooled quinoa. (to cook: use 3:1 water/quinoa. bring water to boil, add quinoa, cover, lower heat, cook for 15 minutes until water is absorbed but before the grain goes mushy. drain and run under water to cool, or chill in the fridge if you have time).

kernels stripped from 1 ear of corn

1/3 of a large red onion, finely chopped

small orange pepper, chopped into small pieces

1/3 cup shelled pistachios

2 apricots, pitted and chopped

handful each of chopped fresh mint and basil leaves

juice of half a lime

two tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

In a big bowl, combine the grain, vegetables, fruits, nuts and herbs.

Dress with the olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Toss gently and serve.




Michelle Bernstein's Watermelon-Tomato-Feta salad

  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. za'atar (optional; available at Middle Eastern markets)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups diced (1/2-inch) seeded watermelon (about a quarter of a medium-size melon)
  • 2 large beefsteak tomatoes , each cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 small English cucumber , peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick diagonal slices
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese , preferably French (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 cup pitted Niçoise olives
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh dill
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Note: The vinaigrette can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days; if you make the salad the night before, don't add the watermelon or dressing until ready to serve.

To make vinaigrette: Put vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and za'atar (if using) in a small bowl. Whisk in olive oil with salt and pepper.

To assemble salad: Put watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber, feta, olives, and dill in a large bowl. Drizzle vinaigrette and toss gently, taking care to not break up the fruit and vegetables. If desired, add salt and pepper to taste. Divide among salad plates and serve.

Adapted from Michy's restaurant and Cuisine à Latina by Michelle Bernstein. Copyright © 2008 (with permission from Houghton Mifflin).